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A Nocturnal Upon St. Lucy's Day, Being The Shortest Day Analysis



Author: Poetry of John Donne Type: Poetry Views: 917

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'Tis the year's midnight, and it is the day's,

Lucy's, who scarce seven hours herself unmasks;

The sun is spent, and now his flasks

Send forth light squibs, no constant rays;

The world's whole sap is sunk;

The general balm th' hydroptic earth hath drunk,

Whither, as to the bed's feet, life is shrunk,

Dead and interr'd; yet all these seem to laugh,

Compar'd with me, who am their epitaph.



Study me then, you who shall lovers be

At the next world, that is, at the next spring;

For I am every dead thing,

In whom Love wrought new alchemy.

For his art did express

A quintessence even from nothingness,

From dull privations, and lean emptiness;

He ruin'd me, and I am re-begot

Of absence, darkness, death: things which are not.



All others, from all things, draw all that's good,

Life, soul, form, spirit, whence they being have;

I, by Love's limbec, am the grave

Of all that's nothing. Oft a flood

Have we two wept, and so

Drown'd the whole world, us two; oft did we grow

To be two chaoses, when we did show

Care to aught else; and often absences

Withdrew our souls, and made us carcasses.



But I am by her death (which word wrongs her)

Of the first nothing the elixir grown;

Were I a man, that I were one

I needs must know; I should prefer,

If I were any beast,

Some ends, some means; yea plants, yea stones detest,

And love; all, all some properties invest;

If I an ordinary nothing were,

As shadow, a light and body must be here.



But I am none; nor will my sun renew.

You lovers, for whose sake the lesser sun

At this time to the Goat is run

To fetch new lust, and give it you,

Enjoy your summer all;

Since she enjoys her long night's festival,

Let me prepare towards her, and let me call

This hour her vigil, and her eve, since this

Both the year's, and the day's deep midnight is.










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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||

.: :.

wow i really wish someone would have posted because i want to further understand this poem.
donne is mourning his wife that died in childbirth.
he is talking about winter solstice which is also known as st lucys day. it is the shortest and darkest day of the year.
he says it is the years midnight because the year is just about over and will start anew, like a new day.
he is advising lovers to enjoy their \"summers\" and he wishing to join his wife in the \"new world\" heaven.

| Posted on 2010-12-21 | by a guest


.: :.

wow i really wish someone would have posted because i want to further understand this poem.
donne is mourning his wife that died in childbirth.
he is talking about winter solstice which is also known as st lucys day. it is the shortest and darkest day of the year.
he says it is the years midnight because the year is just about over and will start anew, like a new day.
he is advising lovers to enjoy their \"summers\" and he wishing to join his wife in the \"new world\" heaven.

| Posted on 2010-12-21 | by a guest




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